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Assistant Crew Leader Position Description

Assistant crew leaders (ACLs) support Washington Trails Association’s mission to empower hikers and everyone who loves the outdoors to explore, steward, and champion trails and public lands.

Every day on trail, ACLs empower volunteers to make a difference and inspire them to care for Washington's trails. They are leaders and ambassadors in a statewide community that shares values of stewardship and volunteerism; cooperation and partnership; community and inclusion; and a community that likes to have fun!

Assistant crew leader Gail an a new volunteer smile during a workday. Photo from WTA archives. 

The primary responsibility of an ACL is to assist the chief crew leader in creating a safe and rewarding experience for all participants on WTA trail work parties. ACLs pass new volunteers the spark and love of building, maintaining, and caring for trails; and they teach skills to empower others to make a meaningful impact on trails.

To help them succeed, ACLs have access to training in leadership, trail maintenance skills and risk management, and they receive support from WTA staff and other volunteer leaders.


  • Leadership

  • Inspire other volunteers by teaching skills in leadership and trail maintenance
  • Foster a safe, fun and inclusive environment for work party participants and trail users
  • Engage and encourage participants to enrich their understanding of trail work in context of WTA’s mission

  • Technical and logistical assistance

  • Understand and help communicate project goals and tasks to the crew
  • Assist crew leader in work site logistics by helping with forms, tool handling, performance metrics and engaging volunteers before and after work parties
  • Assist crew leader in trail construction by teaching volunteers correct tool use techniques, ensuring quality production, and encouraging a proper work pace
  • Ensure a safe volunteer experience by knowing, following, and enforcing WTA’s workplace safety practices and emergency response protocols
  • On volunteer vacations and backcountry response teams, assist crew leader with camp management as needed

  • Participation in Washington Trails Association community

  • Willingness to promote positive trail culture and stories to engage future volunteers on work parties and other WTA events
  • Advocates for and represents WTA mission, programs and membership while on work parties
  • Participates in recruiting new ACLs
  • Provides recommendations and constructive feedback when appropriate while also accepting constructive feedback from WTA staff and other volunteer leaders
  • Enthusiasm to support youth program, outreach events, volunteer vacations and backcountry response teams

Assistant crew leaders take a step back from doing, and teach green hats new skills. Photo courtesy Ryan Ojerio. 


  • Initial commitment

  • Complete classes in leadership and emergency response at Crew Leader College or equivalent regional training
  • Attend an orientation session for new Assistant Crew Leaders

  • Ongoing commitment

  • Attend at least three work parties marked "ACLs needed" per year
  • Participate in ongoing education including WTA trainings and regional crew leader roundtables, where available
  • Annual attendance at Crew Leader College (recommended)
  • Refresh Leadership and emergency response training every other year (recommended)
  • Current Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification (preferred), Basic First Aid/CPR minimum requirement - every 2 years
  • Maintain proficiency and familiarity with WTA emergency response protocols

Teaching the next generation how important it is to steward trails is one of the responsibilities of an assistant crew leader. Photo from WTA archives. 


  •  Demonstrate capacity to:
  • Support a positive and inclusive atmosphere for volunteers on work parties
  • Teach skills to a diverse range of volunteers and participants
  • Lead a group of volunteers in trail maintenance activities
  • Present and monitor WTA work safety practices
  • Communicate effectively with others including listening, giving and receiving feedback
  • Follow minimum impact/Leave No Trace guidelines
  • A desire for continuous growth in leadership and technical skills
  • Past participation in a recommended 25 work party days or similar experience
  • Ability to pass a Washington State background check for working with youth volunteers
  • Shares WTA’s commitment to diversity and equitable access
  • Must be 18 years of age or older